Three years ago Sangster won the Derby that eluded his sire Savabeel.
The training team behind the 2011 Victoria Derby winner is back in Melbourne with another son of Savabeel to try to do it again.
New Zealanders Trent Busuttin and his partner Natalie Young brought Atmosphere to Australia as an unraced three-year-old in August to target the Derby.
Not everything has gone to plan and Atmosphere goes to the Classic with much less experience than they hoped.
Savabeel was already a dual Group One winner of the Spring Champion Stakes and the Cox Plate when he was beaten by Plastered in 2004. Sangster was placed in the Spring Champion and the Norman Robinson at Caulfield.
Atmosphere goes to the Derby as a four-start maiden after missing the equivalent Caulfield race with a high temperature and racking up his third second placing in the Vase at Moonee Valley.
Young is Atmosphere’s track rider and can find enough similarities between Atmosphere and Sangster to give her confidence.
“The first time I sat on Atmosphere he reminded be so much of Sangster,” Young said.
“He’s not quite as big as Sangster but he has a very similar personality.
“Savabeels are straightforward horses and they love hard work and Atmosphere is typical of the breed.”
Apart from his staying potential, Young believes the booking of Joao Moreira can make the difference between winning and losing.
The Hong Kong-based Moreira’s services are in great demand but Atmosphere’s owner, Australian Shane Baertshiger who trains in Singapore where the Brazilian jockey was a multiple champion, managed to snap him up.
“I like how Joao sits quite low and becomes one with the horse,” Young said.
“And with Atmosphere that’s what you need. To get him on right leg, get into him and get going in the straight.”
A Derby win by Atmosphere would go a long way to alleviating the frustrations of his trainers who came to Melbourne this year with ambitions to establish a satellite stable.
“It’s been quite a frustrating campaign since we’ve been here,” Young said.
“We brought five over to start with hoping El Roca would come out and win a Group One and we could get some boxes here.”
A virus followed by a strained suspensory ended dual Group One placegetter El Roca’s campaign, Sangster has been retired and Cauthen’s spring is also over.
Atmosphere is an $11 chance to turn things around on Saturday with the Gai Waterhouse-trained Spring Champion Stakes winner Hampton Court now into $2.70.
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